Review - Foes of Ali

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Review - Foes of Ali

Post by Trev » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:55 pm

The best EA Sports game that nobody has played? Perhaps. Foes of Ali is both a testament to the power of the 3DO, and the skill of the development team at Electronic Arts. They have crafted a 3rd generation masterpiece, and a wonderful 3DO exclusive!

For the record, I do not care for boxing at all. My only video game experience with the sport has been the NES classic 'Punch Out'* This game differs from that one about as much as the 3DO differs from the Atari 2600 ... in other words, a lot! Foes is a pure simulation game, and while that may turn off people initially (myself included) stick with it and it offers a very rewarding and very satisfying game playing experience.

The game provides both exhibition and tournament modes in which you can play as any of the available boxers, but career mode is where this title really shines. It allows you to take on opponents in the order that Ali himself did. From his early days as Clay, to the end of his career as 'the greatest' you get a real feel for the athlete. Audio clips describing highlights from the actual contests give you good historical information also, and are great additions.

The graphics, quite simply are stunning! The character models are not only the best seen on the 3DO, but they matched (or surpassed) anything that the rival systems of the time could offer. The 3DO certainly was capable of producing great polygon graphics, and no game demonstrates it better than this one. The fighters look amazing (well, until you start beating on them anyway) Ali and the others have a great amount of detail, whcih you can really appreciate with all the variety of views offered (21 in all!) The first person views are probably best at displaying this. All of the fighters such as Liston, Frasier, and Ali himself look like their real life counterparts. This level of realism really draws you into the game.

Speaking of realism, another graphical feature is the blood. This may or may not be appreciated, but at least it shows EA's commitment to make this as accurate a simulation as possible. You can adjust the blood flow from none all the way up to gallons :? , although I think normal offers more than enough of the red stuff. And yes, the detail I spoke of above continues as you wear your opponent down. Get in enough solid punches, and your opponet will look like he has been beat with the ugly stick.

Going back to the views for a moment, I need to mention that some are pretty weak (blimp?) But with such a variety, you are sure to find a few that you like. Although I did say that the 1st person views were good for showing off the boxer's detail, I do not think they are the best to play with. The level of realism in the game means that you will be having double vision, swollen eyes, and seeing red before too long, and this makes fighting difficult. My favorite it the TV broadcast view. Not only does it change to give you the best view depending on where you are at, but it also is accompanied by some good ring side commentary.

Other sfx are just as good. The announcer and referee's voices are both good and clear, the crowd actualy reacts to the action going on around it (including a few obnoxious lines from a loud heckler :) ) and everything from the sound of the punches connecting, to the ring of the bell are all sharp. Music doesn't fare as well, but this is limited to the menu screens.

This game is very playable, but you need to be willing to invest some time with it (it is well worth it) Initially, it may seem difficult to connect with your opponent. However, once you learn what punches and combos work best the fun factor jumps immensely. It really is very satisfying to watch as you wear your opponent down. They react realistically too, and you'll see their punches become weaker and less frequent the more damage you deliver.

The game is not perfect. It does play a tad slow (I would have loved to be able to dance around as Ali more) Also, long play sessions will produce very sore thumbs (my excuse for any typos in this review :wink: ) But I really am grasping at straws. As a whole this game is great achievement.

The best argument I can give to those sitting on the fence about this game, is to think of another great EA 3DO title 'Need for Speed'. Perhaps the first time you played that game you were let down by it's perceived slowness, and the fact that it played quite differently from the other great arcade racers of the day (Daytona, Ridge Racer, Cruis'n, etc...) However, in time (or perhaps after palying the lousy PSX & Saturn ports) you no doubt appreciated it for what it was, a terrific simulation. It is the same with 'Foes of Ali'. This is as pure a simulation it gets. Keep playing, and it really does grow on you.

I strongly recommend this game, even if you don't like boxing (remember, I don't care for boxing a bit) It's graphics give bragging rigths to all 3DO fans, and it offers some good history as well. Above all, it has that level of polish that we have come to expect from Electronic Arts. When you compare this title to 1st generation efforts like Madden (also a good game, which I'll review later) you see just how determined EA was at tapping the full potential of the 3DO player.

If you don't already own 'Foes of Ali', get on Ebay and start searching for it. This review really doesn't do the game justice. I'm gonna stop writing now and start playing it. You should too. -Trev

(* Out of respect for all the cd-i fanboys that are also on this forum, I should mention that I also own 'Ceasers world of boxing :wink: )
Last edited by Trev on Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Lemmi » Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:45 pm

i played this for alittle bit along time ago but im not much of a boxing game fan, i dont have a scan for the Samurai Showdown because my copy is just the manual and CD

here is a box scan of the game, use them as you wish, take them resize it or whatever you want to do, maybe even edit your first post and put the box scans in
but i suggest taking them because you never know when i might remove the pics from the links

i scanned both sides ... 9front.jpg ... 20back.jpg
Ex-3DO collector extraordinaire , but i still have my collection
Villagephotos is dead, need to find my old pics and find another host

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